Health centre goes batty for wildlife

HEALTH chiefs who masterminded a £7m new health centre have gone bats... literally.

Five roosting areas and boxes for birds and bats have been set up at the Stone Castle Centre in Conisbrough which opened last month.

The environmentally friendly health centre is also the first clinic in the area to have a part sedum roof.

The ‘living’ roof, which absorbs rain water rather than it flow directly into the public water system, has a 120 square metre bed of sedum separated from layers of aluminium roofing by more layers of sand and rubber.

This water is then collected into a 2,000 litre tank and will be used to flush the public toilets in the clinic below.

In addition to the ‘green’ roof, the clinic has a dual functioning boiler which heats and provides electrical power, while the flagstones surrounding the building have been laid on a bed of 100 tonnes crushed recycled glass, saving on having to use quarry sand, making it infinitely more environmentally friendly.

And the nesting boxes are one more part of the ‘green’ approach to its construction. In additon to the five roosting areas, a special bat box and six nesting boxes have been put up at the front of the building.

And although the old clinic wasn’t home to bats, there are a number in the area and it is hoped that these may find the new bat box attractive. As of yet the boxes are still empty, but it is early days.

Ian Carpenter, press officer for the PCT said the community has been fully involved in the health centre’s construction.

He said: “We even involved the local schools in providing the artwork and the local children in burying a time capsule on the site. We are currently working with the Conisbrough Art Group in producing more artwork for the clinic.”

The PCT expects to open the doors of the borough’s ninth new clinic in November.